Sabeel Wave of Prayer
19th December 2019
Over 2,000 Palestinians gathered in various parts of the Gaza Strip on Friday to take part in the weekly Great March of Return protests. The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that five Palestinians were shot with live rounds fired by the army across the perimeter fence. One of the wounded Palestinians was shot in the head and suffered a serious injury. It added that four Palestinians were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets, and dozens suffered the effects of teargas inhalation.
· Lord, we come before you ready to lay our anxieties and fears at your feet and ask that you would guard our hearts with your peace which surpasses all understanding. We pray for the peaceful protestors in Gaza and that others would be led to express their grievances using non-violent means. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
This week’s Kumi Now initiative focuses on the work of the Military Court Watch (MCW).
MCW is a non-profit organisation which monitors the treatment of children in the Israeli military court system. Every year hundreds of Palestinian children are detained and prosecuted in the military courts.
· ‘Let the children come to me,’ our Lord Jesus urged his disciples as they tried to hold them back, (Luke 18:16). We pray that in your compassion, Lord, you will see how Palestinian children are treated by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) in the West Bank. We pray for all those who are trying to support and protect them, and we pray for the dismantling of the Israeli military court system which has such a corrosive effect on the communities in Palestine. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
On Thursday, the 12th of December the Israeli authorities declared that Christians in the Gaza Strip would not be granted permits to travel to holy sites in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem or into Israel over Christmas. Only men over 45 wishing to travel abroad travel through Jordan may be granted permits.
· We pray with our Christian brothers and sisters as they seek to challenge the decision of the Israeli government to ban permits for the people of Gaza to visit family and celebrate Christmas in the Israel or the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
Last week the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee presented a strategic plan for combating violence within the Arab community in Israel. The plan recognises the social change being experienced by this community but points to the long period of neglect it has endured under successive Israeli governments. The plan would require local authorities to draw up priorities for their areas for reinvestment in social programmes, as well as reviving police action to curb criminal organisations.
· Dear Lord, we thank you for the efforts of the Arab leaders to put in place measures to stop the violence and instability in their communities. We pray that funds will be made available from the government to implement their plans. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
The female Palestinian karate team in Gaza have been enjoying success under the coaching of Has er-Rai. They have tough training schedules to meet and they are aspiring to compete on the international stage. However, they also have to face the Israeli travel restrictions on the enclave.
· Lord we pray for the sportsmen and women in Gaza and in the West Bank who aspire to compete at the highest levels. We pray for their determination to overcome travel restrictions. We pray for the day when all those obstacles will be removed. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA) and Black4Palestine (B4P) have partnered to initiate a Black church outreach project that seeks to raise awareness in Black congregations about Palestinian freedom and justice. They invite Black Clergy, Black Christians, as well as members of the Black community and anyone who supports this statement to sign on in support of a Black church call to end Israeli apartheid and to uplift Palestinian demands for justice.
· Lord, we pray that this joint initiative will bring the communities together through shared experience and narrative. We pray that the Black church call will be a tool to end injustice in Palestine. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
· Lord, we give thanks for all those who attended the Sabeel Christmas Dinner on Saturday, the 14th of December. We pray that the friendships made and renewed on that joyous occasion would bear much fruit in the year ahead. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
· We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of China, Hong Kong, and Macau. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.